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The Cat in the Hat

The Cat in the Hat


by Dr. Seuss

The Cat in the Hat Meaning

What is this book really about?

Anarchy Lite

Critics and two-year-olds alike revel in this book's spirit of anarchy. Seussologist Philip Nel describes the Cat as "a rebel whose political philosophy, such as it is, seems to be based primarily on rejecting the current order" (source, 57 ). He even claims that Dr. Seuss' "identification with the Cat" suggests that he "endorsed the cat's rebellious spirit (58).

Sounds convincing enough, right? But we have to remember Seuss was all about satire, so we can see how he's satirizing anarchy even as he endorses it. Think of the mindless frenzy of the Things. Based on the actions of those crazy guys, it seems like anarchy for anarchy's sake might do more harm than good.

As much as The Cat in the Hat promotes rebellion and disregard for rules, it also suggests that some rules and traditions are good and necessary—and that they might even make life more comfortable for us. The kids are exhilarated by their fling with anarchy not only because it shakes up their thinking and cures their boredom, but also because it makes them appreciate the usual order and calm of their home.

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